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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Antonieta Contreras, a board-certified neurofeedback clinician, details the neurobiology of trauma in her book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders. Contreras differentiates between trauma and traumatization, giving examples to clarify the meaning. The author explores many topics, such as why people develop trauma disorders and the ways these may surface in their daily lives. She discusses traumatizing agents and how they can prolong a person’s reaction to an event. The text touches on actions a person may take when they perceive a threat of trauma after experiencing a similar situation, how certain self-conscious states can cast a shadow on the mind, and outlines a clear diagnosis of PTSD. The book covers trauma in adults and children and reveals markers for identifying it.
The text makes the psychological terms more understandable and is current in terms of our knowledge of trauma and its repercussions. Without diminishing reactions to horrific events, Antonieta Contreras dissects traumatization and provides helpful diagrams for a more visual perspective. In one way or another, the material in this book may relate to almost everyone who reads it. I was intrigued by the stories Contreras shared and was interested in shame as a “destructive emotional state” and the brain’s protective mechanisms and what can activate them. The author delivers up-to-date research, eliminating misinformation, and steering others away from mislabeling without alienating or shaming readers. Traumatization and Its Aftermath would be a great addition to a psychology class, a good reference book, and a thoughtful gift for readers who are fascinated by the brain’s protective abilities.